Jack Skellington is the patron spirit of Halloween, portrayed as being on par with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny within his own holiday. As a living skeleton, he is immortal and can remove parts of his body without harm, as is often demonstrated for comic relief. He is the most important of many Halloween spirits, with the implication that their job is to scare people in the real world on Halloween night.
Jack is very much an (undead) gentleman, graceful and patient in equal measures and can usually be counted on to do what is in everyone's best interest.
Though his logic is sound. his reasoning can be questioned at times--he was quite thorough in his Christmas research, but opted to go with what he and his friends knew when he decided to give Santa Claus the year off and take over for him.
He was also oblivious to Sally's feelings for him throughout most of the story, showing that while among the more intelligent citizens of Halloween Town, he is a bit of a dope at reading people's feelings. This is backed up by the fact that he barely even recognized Santa's distress when they first met.
It seems that Jack might be slightly naive at times, as shown that he trusted Lock, Shock and Barrel enough that he believed that they would simply bring Santa Claus to him without causing trouble, despite them being in cahoots with Oogie Boogie. And he didn't realize all the chaos he was causing on Christmas Eve before it was too late.
Jack almost never loses his temper and hardly ever raises his voice, but Jack was unable to contain his contempt for Oogie Boogie and did not hesitate to severely punish his old foe for endangering his friends with grim dedication.
It is also shown that Jack enjoys things that are new to him. He quickly became delighted with Christmas and grew increasingly excited as Christmas was being remade in Halloween Town just as he pictured, even giddily laughing as he gave out presents on Christmas Eve.
He is also highly optimistic, as he is very certain everything will go perfectly...that is, until he realizes how "Everything has gone all wrong." Even when in despair after ruining Christmas, he is able to cheer himself up by realizing he didn't mean to do what he did and that "nobody really understood" (whether he is refferring to Halloweentown not understanding Christmas or humans not understanding his intentions is unclear). He is also humble enough to admit that he has failed and is willing to hand back the reins to Santa Claus in order to rectify everything.
Story in "The Nightmare Before Christmas"Edit
The film commences with the grand finale of Halloween Town's Halloween celebrations, which are hailed by Jack as being "the most horrible yet". However, when Jack sneaks away from the adoring citizens, it is revealed that he is tired of the same old Halloween. He expresses a sheer sense of emptiness and he wanders off into the woods with his ghost dog Zero.
While walking through the Hinterlands, Jack stumbles upon a place in the forest he's never been before, discovering a grove of trees that have doors leading to different holiday towns. Jack is drawn towards the Christmas tree-shaped door and opens it, therefore ending up in Christmas Town. Soon after, he becomes infatuated with the holiday. After obsessively researching it, he decides that this year, the citizens of Halloween Town will manage Christmas in the hopes of "improving" it. Sally, an animated rag doll who is secretly in love with Jack, has a premonition that his plans for Christmas will be a disaster and attempts to warn him, but he politely dismisses her fear. Sally's premonition later proves to be right.
Not really understanding the "spirit" of Christmas, the citizens of Halloween Town create a celebration of the macabre rather than a "season to be jolly"; Jack, dressed as Santa Claus, unintentionally brings fear rather than joy to the children of the world. Wanting Santa Claus to rest, Jack had ordered local trick-or-treaters Lock, Shock and Barrel to bring Santa to Halloween Town; however, after Santa was firstly brought to Jack and greeted by him, the three kids took him to Oogie Boogie, who teased and eventually planned to kill Santa. Sally attempts to rescue Santa Claus after discovering that military forces are planning to destroy Jack, but she too is captured.
Upon realising the error of his ways, Jack overcomes his identity crisis and reaffirms himself as the Pumpkin King. With determination to set things right, Jack promptly returns to Halloween Town, where he discovers that Santa has been taken to Oogie's Lair. He manages to defeat Oogie and rescue Santa and Sally. Santa returns to the real world to save Christmas and, as a sign of no hard feelings, gives Halloween Town a taste of true Christmas spirit, fulfilling his former desire to a limited extent. Jack finds Sally atop Halloween Hill, which is blanketed in snow, and reveals his own affections for her as the film ends.
The official film soundtrack CD contains an epilogue not in the film, stating that "many years later", Santa returned to Halloween Town to visit Jack, where he discovered that Jack had "four or five skeleton children at hand" who play together in a xylophone band. Given the ending of the movie, it can be assumed that the children are Jack and Sally's offspring.
Story in Kingdom HeartsEdit
Jack Skellington appears in four installments of the Kingdom Hearts video game series. He inhabits the world of Halloween Town, where the evil Heartless threaten its denizens. The games' main protagonists, Sora, Donald Duck and Goofy, befriend Jack and together, they battle the Heartless and also Oogie Boogie. In combat, Jack uses some of his scary powers with demonstrations of some magic, making him a formidable sorcerer.
His magical powers include spells:
- Blazing Fury
- Icy Terror
- Bolts of Sorrow
- Ghostly Scream
- Applause, Applause!
In Kingdom Hearts, Jack takes a liberal role of performing a scary Halloween, in this case, using the Heartless. He asks Dr. Finkelstein to make a heart for the creatures so they can dance, but the Heartless get loose and wreak havoc in Halloween Town. He requests the help of Sora to find a solution. However, they take so long to fight Oogie Boogie, he regretfully has to cancel Halloween for a year due to a lack of material to go on, promising something terrifying next year.
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of MemoriesEdit
Jack makes an appearance as a figment of Sora's memory in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories his role this time remains relatively the same. He requested Dr. Finkelstein to make a memory potion, hoping that it would help in teaching the Heartless new Halloween tricks. Like in Kingdom Hearts, Donald was not very fond of Jack, especially since he scared Donald.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 DaysEdit
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Jack appears once more, planning the perfect Halloween. He is at a loss of ideas, however, finally getting one when he catches Roxas leaving the world through a Dark Corridor. Upon Roxas's next visit, Jack is seen in the Town Square with Doctor Finkelstein, displaying decorated balloons that contained a horrifying surprise. The doctor liked the idea, Jack still not satisfied. Roxas later encountered the Pumpkin King and his dog Zero in the Graveyard, the ghost-dog showing Jack that Heartless could now be found in the balloons. Not recalling having put the Heartless in the balloons, he deciphered that another mind had decided to place the dark creatures in them to add an extra level of terror. Jack then continued brainstorming, hoping to prevent this other "great mind" from coming up with better ideas before he did. He then awarded Zero a bone after realizing the dog had given him a hint, Jack heading straight to Dr. Finkelstein's lab to tell him of a brand new, great idea.
Kingdom Hearts IIEdit
Jack in his Santa costume in Kingdom Hearts II, he takes a comparable role to his character in the movie.
One day while walking through the Hinterlands with Zero, Jack discovers a clearing with trees decorated with festive doors. He opens a door shaped like a Christmas tree and falls through into Christmas Town.
When Sora, Donald and Goofy arrive in the Town Square, which is decorated with Christmas lights, Jack arrives in a makeshift sleigh pulled by skeletal reindeer. He wishes them a Merry Chistmas and tells them that he running Christmas "again". They visit Sally in Dr. Finkelstein's lab before Jack heads off to bring Santa Claus, but he comes back to tell Sora that Heartless have appeared in town. Jack helps the group defeat the Heartless and asks them to be Santa's bodyguards. They all travel to Santa's House in Christmas Town, but Santa is less than pleased to see Jack after the last time he tried to run Christmas.
When Lock, Shock, and Barrel invade Santa's factory with Maleficent's help, Santa sends the group after them, and they follow the pranksters to Curly Hill where they defeat the Prison Keeper. When Lock, Shock, and Barrel run off to see Oogie Boogie, Jack and the others are surprised to learn that he has been revived. On their way back, Sally tells them that Oogie has kidnapped Santa Claus and is headed for Christmas Town. They return to the Toy Factory, where they defeat Oogie Boogie.
Afterwards, Sally gives an excited Jack the Santa costume she had been working on, but Santa convinces him that they should each stick to doing the jobs they love and do best, and Jack, newly inspired, heads towards Halloween Town with The Mayor, who has come looking for him. As he leaves, his costume reveals the next Gate.
When Sora, Donald, and Goofy return to Halloween Town, they find Jack, still in costume, picking presents off the ground in the Hinterlands. Although Sora is skeptical, Jack explains he just found the presents and is only returning them to Santa. When they arrive at Santa's House, Santa informs them that a large number of presents have been stolen from his factory, and Jack volunteers the group for finding the thief. Although they find Lock, Shock, and Barrel in the Wrapping Room, they claim they are only looking for parts for Dr. Finkelstein's experiment and have no interest in Christmas presents.
Sally arrives with news of Heartless with presents in Halloween Town, so the group return and recover the gifts, only to discover the Doctor's experiment has also been stolen. Jack decides to set a trap for the thief using decoy Christmas presents, and they discover the thief to be the experiment itself. In gratitude, Santa lets Jack ride with him in his sleigh. After Jack returns, Sally helps him realize that meaning of giving a present is not the gift box, nor the present inside it, but the wish to make someone happy, and the two dance in the snow.
Some time after Xemnas's defeat, Jack is seen, sans costume, discussing plans for the next Halloween with everyone in the Doctor's lab.
Story of Joining Sora's TeamEdit
As Sora, Donald Duck, and Goofy returned to Halloween Town, Jack and his companions were told by Riku about the worlds being in great danger, and his pursuasive info was enough to convince them to join the team.